•Prices of rice, other goods to reduce next year
•Exchange rate’ll stabilise, too
•Why Tallen rejected ambassadorial nomination
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday took responsibility for the economic hardship in the land. The party said it could no longer lament that the recession was not of its making, but would proffer solutions to the problem so that the citizenry would be saved further nightmare.
The APC governors met with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
Chairman of the APC Governors’ Form and Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, said:
“There is no surgery that is not painful. Nigeria is going through a very serious economic surgery and that is the pains we are experiencing. We share the pains of Nigerians, every human being must feel it. We also feel what they are going through, but we are asking for a little patience; let us do things the right way and do it once and for all.
“I am sure that by next year, you will begin to see changes, the price of rice will drop, prices of dollars will begin to stabilize and we will see a lot of challenges. But at this painful moment, nobody likes it. It is like a woman in the labour room, when she is in the labour room there is no joy, but she has to pass through that moment and that moment she doesn’t wear her high heel shoes, no make-up, no champagne, no party; she is going through a process; but shortly after that process, joy cometh once she sees the child. So, Nigerians should bear with us as a government.
“This was not a problem brought by APC government , it is a problem that has existed long before APC came to government and we are only trying to clear the mess of the past. But we must take responsibility and we must never shift the responsibility to anybody, APC you are responsible for everything happening in Nigeria; we are responsible. The good, the bad, the ugly, but we are promising Nigerians that we shall fix it.”
Okorocha said other issues discussed include the agricultural policy of the government, which was already yielding result.
He said the governors also congratulated the President on the release of the 21 Chibok girls, adding: “Whatever was the action taken to bring back these girls, let the action be repeated so that the rest of the girls can be free; this will help because this is a very big achievement in the life history of this government.”
He said the governors also commended the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption fight, urging him not to relent.
“We also encouraged him on the fight against corruption, that he should continue. We know that in the pursuit of good programmes, certain lapses will be noticed and there is nothing wrong in pursuing a good cause. We encouraged and thanked him for the efforts he is making to move this country forward,” Okorocha said.
The Imo governor said the meeting also talked about the success of the Edo State election, being the first state to be delivered under this administration, resolving to support the Ondo State election so that the APC will take over the state.
On whether the APC controversy in Ondo won’t affect the fortunes of the party, Okorocha replied: “I agree with you to some extent, but I believe before the election, all things will be fixed right because Ondo is coming back to APC and we would do all we can. These were some of the things we discussed.”
Commenting on the 46 non-career ambassadorial list, which witnessed the rejection by a nominee, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, Plateau State, Governor Simon Lalong said aside from her husband’s illhealth, Tallen’s rejection of her nomination was more of sacrifice, as a matured politician.
Lalong, while hailing Tallen for her political maturity, said a little consultation would have saved the government the embarrassment.
According to him, all federal appointments done so far in the state had been from the southern zone, disclosing that an uproar followed her appointment.
Speaking to State House corespondents, Governor Lalong said: “Pauline is an astute politician from my state, and part of the issue we also raised was on some of the appointments that were made. So, all the states that had complaints are going to put them in writing and the President promised to look into it.”
On if he was convinced with the reason Tallen gave, as regards her husband’s ill-health, Lalong said: “Well, it is not only about her husband. I think it is the dimension of Plateau politics because I had already made complaints to Mr. President that appointments should not be concentrated in one zone. And so, all these appointments came again from one zone, in that particular zone. So, the complaints that are coming from our state is not about her own personal interest; it is the fact that two ambassadorial appointments are coming from the same zone; we had complained. That is my zone. We had complained that the next appointment should go to the other zone, the central, and the northern zone. And so when that appointment came, the kind of uproar that followed it also necessitated an intervention.
“And I think as a matured politician she stepped down and sacrificed that for the people of Plateau. We are still working on a replacement for that. It is not a big issue, but atimes, a little consultation would have solved that problem because these are issues in the interest of the state. ” he said.